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The '80s Movies That Stuck with You the Most

Updated January 28, 2021 9.7k votes 961 voters 17.9k views29 items

List RulesNot necessarily the best, your favorite, or the most rewatchable movies, but rather films that - for whatever reason, perhaps something poignant, perhaps something disturbing - have stuck in your brain long after seeing them.

Could it possible be that the 1980s was the most memorable decade in the history of cinema? It may sound like hyperbole, but when you take a look at the plethora of amazing movies that came out between the years 1980 and 1989, it could actually be true. These are the 1980s movies that stuck with you the most.

First off, let's get something straight. The '80s films on this list are not necessarily, from a purely cinematic stand point, the “best movies.” In fact, only two of the films on this list won the Academy Award for Best Picture in their respective years (Platoon and Rain Man). This list is about memorable 1980s films, the ones that stick in your head for years or decades after you've first seen them.

For whatever reason, these memorable 1980s films affect us. Maybe you find yourself thinking about their message, or laughing at their humor, or they just make you feel nostalgic for your youth. (Keep in mind, the '80s also produced its share of films for which no one in their right mind is nostalgic.)

Some of the '80s films on this list are hysterically funny. A couple hours with one of these comedies could have you skipping school with Ferris Bueller or ordering pizza in class with Spicoli. Other movies on this list will make you feel nostalgic for your youth. You can go treasure hunting with the Goonies or come of age on an overnight trip with your best pals to find a dead body in Stand by Me.

These 1980s movies you remember cross every genre. Great stories stick with you; their magic has the ability to transport you anywhere in the universe, without ever leaving the comfort of your couch.

Be sure to make your voice heard and vote up the 1980s movies that you remember the most.

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  • Back to the Future is a 1985 American science fiction film directed by Robert Zemeckis. Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox), a 17-year-old high school student, is accidentally sent thirty years into the past in a time-traveling DeLorean invented by his close friend, the maverick scientist Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd)....  more
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  • Raiders of the Lost Ark is a 1981 American adventure film directed by Steven Spielberg. The screenplay by Lawrence Kasdan was from a story by George Lucas and Philip Kaufman. It was produced by Frank Marshall for Lucasfilm Ltd., with Lucas and Howard Kazanjian as executive producers. Starring Harrison Ford, it was the first installment in the Indiana Jones film franchise to be released, though it is the second in internal chronological order. It pits Indiana Jones against a group of Nazis who are searching for the Ark of the Covenant, which Adolf Hitler believes will make his army invincible. The film co-stars Karen Allen as Indiana's former lover, Marion Ravenwood; Paul Freeman as...  more
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  • The Breakfast Club is a 1985 American coming-of-age comedy-drama film written, produced, and directed by John Hughes and starring Emilio Estevez, Paul Gleason, Anthony Michael Hall, John Kapelos, Judd Nelson, Molly Ringwald and Ally Sheedy. The storyline follows five teenagers, each a member of a different high school clique, who spend a Saturday in detention together and come to realize that they are all more than their respective stereotypes, while facing a villainous principal. Critics consider it one of the greatest high school films, as well as one of Hughes' most memorable and recognizable works. The media referred to the film's five main actors as members of a group called the "Brat...  more
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  • Stand by Me is a 1986 American coming of age comedy-drama adventure film directed by Rob Reiner and starring Wil Wheaton, River Phoenix, Corey Feldman and Jerry O'Connell. Based on the novella The Body, written by Stephen King, the title is derived from the Ben E. King song of the same name, which plays over the end credits. The film tells the story of four boys who go on a hike across the countryside to find the body of a missing child. ...  more
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